1. A well-packed hospital bag.
Think very carefully about what will need and what you’ll want to make you feel at home in your hospital room (if that’s possible). Think warm socks, your own robe (a robe you don’t mind potentially getting soiled), comfortable loose yoga pants, your favorite lotion, shampoo, etc. If you’re having a photographer capture those moments, you may want to bring your favorite makeup or at least some lip gloss.
2. A great support team
Who’s on your support team? Your mom, significant other, your doula. They will help you feel comfortable and secure during your hospital stay…unless they’re going to aggravate you. Think long and hard about who you want by your side, helping you during labor and helping you take care of your baby and yourself.
3. A doctor/midwife you’re absolutely comfortable with.
You don’t want to feel like just another number to your healthcare professional. You also want the person who is going to take your life in their hands to also take your concerns seriously. You also want a doctor or midwife who is in alignment with your birthing philosophy and goals.
4. Tour your hospital
Go ahead and register for your hospital tour. This will help you become familiar with where to go on the big day. It will also be an opportunity to ask questions, see the NICU, and maybe even register with the hospital. You will feel more comfortable in your surroundings when it’s time.
5. Bring your own pillows and blanket
Hospital pillows and blankets can be inadequate to say the least. Bring your favorite pillow and a throw blanket to stay comfortable in your hospital bed.
When you deliver vaginally your perineal area is going to hurt…bad! There are a few ways for you to feel some relief: Perineal spray (your doctor should provide these), taking your pain meds, and padsicles.
You can buy Instant Ice Maxi Pads from Frida Mom and when you get home you can make your own. Here’s how:
What you need for padsicles
- A large Ziploc bag
- Overnight Maxi Pads
- Witch hazel
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Open pads.
How to make padsicles
-Pour witch hazel on to the pads. Use a generous amount
-Spread the aloe vera gel. Be sure to cover the top of the pad.
-Put pads in a Ziploc bag, seal, and put in the freezer. You can store pads in separate small Ziploc bags too if you prefer.
7. Ask for everything you need in the hospital and take extras home too.
The waterproof pads they put on your bed are great to use on your bed at home as you will be bleeding for 2–5 weeks. When you’re bleeding heavily in the beginning, you can fold your chucks into a rectangle put them in your mesh panties and then place your maxi pad on top of them for extra leak protection.
- Mesh panties
You won’t want to wear your own panties during your hospital stay because of the heavy bleeding. So ask for extra mesh panties. They hold your pads in place and they’re disposable!
This offers temporary relief and its amazing.
-Tucks and Preparation H
If you deliver vaginally you will probably have hemorrhoids. Tucks and Preparation H will be your best friend along with a stool softener.
-A belly binder
If you have a C-Section, a belly or abdominal binder will help you with recovery and pain management by compressing the muscles in your stomach. It can also help your uterus shrink quicker. You’ll want the support of the binder when you sneeze, cough, or stand.
8. Stay on top of your meds
If you have a C-section or a vaginal delivery, don’t wait until you’re in excruciating pain to ask your nurse for meds. Know your med schedule and be ready to tell the nurse your pain level. Don’t be modest about your pain. Tell the nurse what you’re feeling.
9. Your cell phone
During those times you’re nursing, you’ll want something to keep you occupied, so bring your phone, peruse Facebook, Instagram, or listen to your favorite audiobook.
You won’t feel like it but you’ll need to walk as soon as your doctor clears you to do so. This will aid in your healing. Take the baby with you, use the rolling bassinet for support, and walk slowly.
11. Bring your birth plan
Your birth plan should be put in your bag in advance. It should list out your birthing and postpartum preferences as well as your preferences for the care of your newborn. Even though you have a birth plan, remember, things can change quickly when it comes to labor and delivery, so be flexible in case your birth plan must go out the window.
Are we missing anything? What are your must-haves for childbirth? What made your hospital stay more bearable. Comment below.